By Braedan Shea
On a day where senior and graduate student players were being celebrated for their years of hard-work, Springfield College rose to the occasion; even through the pouring rain on Stagg Field. The Pride were unfazed by the unfavorable weather in their crushing 20-7 victory Saturday against Smith College.
Springfield started off hot, and once gaining the lead, never looked back. A beautiful feed from junior attack Arielle Johnson set up a quick goal for graduate attacker Taylor Pichel, just a mere 40 seconds into the game’s opening quarter. The lead blossomed to three thanks to back-to-back goals coming at the hands of graduate midfielder Jade O’Connor, with 12:17 and 11:17 left to go in the first quarter.
Smith’s first year attack Sadie Tschider responded with a goal for herself following a Springfield turnover at 10:50, but the Pride stormed back with four more goals, highlighted by an impressive goal from senior attack Haley Byers. Coming from the right side of the goal, Byers ran herself straight into a wall of Pioneer defenders. Despite the tough situation she had found herself in, she gathered herself and spun left, unleashing a low strike that hummed past Smiths goalie.
“I am very excited and proud of my teammates, but also proud of myself,” said Byers in reference to playing well on senior/grad day. “I put a lot of work in – so have my teammates – we’ve all just kind of worked for each other all year, and it was nice to have it all pay off today.”
Smith got two goals back, but by the end of the quarter the damage was done, Springfield ahead 7-3. The second quarter picked up right where the Pride left it off, with them scoring five unanswered goals to open it up. Smith’s sophomore midfielder Jennie Arancio stopped Springfield’s run with a goal coming with 6:45 left to play in the half － her third of the game － and another Tschinder goal with 2:52 to go made it look as if Smith could go into the half with some momentum. But another Pride goal by senior attack Anjelia Altebrando rid the thoughts of Smith garnering that momentum, while also notching herself a hat trick and giving Springfield a 13-5 lead at the half.
The third quarter was much of the same, with Springfield scoring four unanswered goals. Three of which were assisted by Johnson, who led all players with six. The teams each traded a goal before quarters end, and by the time the fourth quarter began, the Pride pushed their lead to 12.
In the fourth quarter, many of the younger players for Springfield got some playing time, thanks to the cushioning lead it had built. Two first year students for the Pride － midfielders Samantha Andersen and Lyndsey DeLasho － were able to find the back of the net for the first time in their collegiate careers, which was much to the excitement of their teammates.
“Just good energy on senior day/grad day, it is always nice to just get a lot of people in to get better overall,” said Mullady.
Coming off of a tough loss to No.18 Trinity just two days prior, getting this win was extremely important for the team, at least according to Byers.
“Definitely a big mood booster for us all, it was a tough loss against Trinity even though we played well － but any win after a loss is a great way to start off a new week,” she said.
Springfield looks to carry its momentum into next week’s matchup Wednesday against Westfield State at 6 p.m., which starts off a three-game road streak.
Photo: Springfield College Athletics